POSTED March 2, 2020
TWO new schools in the booming Ripley Valley will work closely together as they grow side-by-side in the coming years, with more students still expected to enrol this year despite numbers already exceeding expectations.
Ripley Valley State School and Ripley Valley State Secondary College, co-located in the Providence estate in South Ripley, welcomed their first students yesterday.
The schools were built at a combined cost of $120 million.
About 290 students are enrolled at the primary school, which is about 100 more than initially expected.
Ripley Valley State School principal Naomi Meerwald said more kids are still expected to enrol.
The cohort was expected to rise to close to 400 students next year but it seems set to surpass that figure.
“(The facilities are) state of the art,” Ms Meerwald said.
“It’s two and three storeys with lifts. It’s airconditioned.
“You’ve got facilities like the hall which has got classrooms off it purpose made for music and then we’ve got an amazing auditorium.
“That’s like something out of a university, not out of a state school.”
More than 1000 kids are expected to be schooled at Ripley Valley State Secondary College by 2024, with 132 enrolled this year and more still set to arrive.
Stage two, which will double the physical size of the high school, is set to start next year and will raise the capacity to about 1800 students.
Ripley Valley State Secondary College principal Brendan Krueger said the school is also still taking enrolments.
“This is when the real work can begin of teaching and educating kids and letting them settle in,” he said.
“It’s always going to be about planning for the future.
“Over the next four years for us there’s going to be a lot of growth in the school. Not only because we’re growing with a year level every year but every year there will be new teachers, new staff and new teachers … it’s just going to be about helping them to adopt and assimilate really quickly into out culture and community.
“There’s going to be a close link with Ripley Valley State school. We see it as a real partnership between the two schools.”
Ms Meerwald said the area was a hotspot for new families.
“I think one of the challenges we have to be wary of and we’ve been conscious of it from day one has been rapid growth,” she said.
“When you have multiple new children coming in that’s OK. But then when it’s multiple new staff you have to make sure they’re on board with the culture.
“Brendan and I have worked very closely together. We want to be seen as a united front.
“We want to make sure that transitions between primary and high school are as smooth for kids as they can be.”